10.02.2015 - Natural Sciences Sector

New Directory of Atmospheric, Hydrographic and Biological datasets for the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem

The Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) is a major upwelling region off the coast of northwest Africa. It extends southwards from Canary Islands (Spain) and the Atlantic coast of Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia and Guinea-Bissau, but also Cape Verde and the waters of Guinea Conakry are considered adjacent areas within the zone of influence of the CCLME.

The CCLME is a vital food and economic resource not only for coastal populations bordering the ecosystem, but also for much of West Africa and beyond. This Large Marine Ecosystem covers and area of roughly 1.12 million km2 and contains 0.2% of the world’s seamounts. 

A total of 425 datasets, 27 databases and 21 time-series sites have been identified in the area. A substantial part of them were rescued from archives supported in paper copy. The current directory refers to 85 datasets, databases and time-series sites.

This catalogue and the recovered data offer an exceptional opportunity for the researchers in the CCLME to study the dynamics and trends of a multiplicity of variables, and will enable them to explore different data sources and create their own baselines and climatologies under a spatial and temporal perspective.

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and the Instituto Español de Oceanografía established a close collaboration with various institutions in order to rescue, review and quality control the information, and to standardize and validate the compiled data in this directory.

The compilation of such a complex directory would not have been possible without the financial support given by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), via the project entitled Enhancing oceanography capacities on Western African countries.

The Directory of Atmospheric, Hydrographic and Biological datasets for the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem will be reviewed on a systematic and routine basis.

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